If you discount all the White House tweets, controversies and rallies as background noise, the nation goes on largely as it did before the current presidential administration.
North Korea is still a hostile nuke-wielding force. Our relations with Russia remain strained. Qatar is locked in a Cold War with Saudi Arabia, with the U.S. having issued conflicting positions.
NATO is intact despite last year’s campaign buzz. Turkey, as before, wants a dissident cleric returned from Pennsylvania.
Authoritarian leaders in Venezuela, Cuba and the Philippines conduct business much as they did before.
Obamacare and Dodd-Frank remain on the books. Confederate statues remain in the same regard as before, the debate over them open-ended. The North American Free Trade Agreement has yet to be abrogated, Israelis and Palestinians are at bitter odds and trade with China remains status quo — at least while Beijing squeezes North Korea on supplies.
The Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran is still in effect.
The promised trillion-dollar infrastructure plan has yet to take shape. President Donald Trump last week abruptly called public-private partnerships, of which he previously sang praises, “more trouble than they’re worth.”
Plans to cut taxes are sketchy, with an all-Republican but still-divided Congress. Trump has proposed doing away with state and local tax deductions on federal forms, but there are signs of serious resistance in the Senate and House.
Transgender soldiers — as many as there may be — have yet to be kicked out and banned from the U.S. military. It is also tough to tease out what impact that one-off American missile strike in Syria had.
For that matter, the National Football League seems to play on as before. Despite the president’s attention and agitation over kneeling during the national anthem to protest alleged police racism, there’s arm linking and demonstrating, for what it’s worth. The NFL, an old target of Trump’s, has not heeded the president’s advice to fire anyone who kneels.
Would-be visitors from a number of mostly-Muslim nations have been inconvenienced, but the U.S. immigration system has yet to start being overhauled.
The last regime’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been ordered canceled in three years, but the president has made clear he wants Congress to carry out the goal of DACA and avoid certain deportations.
The border wall with Mexico is in a show-and-tell phase, still awaiting a commitment of full funding but with federal contractors showing off prototypes. And with lobbyists still doing brisk business, evidence is awaited as to how the Washington “swamp” is being “drained.”
Maybe concrete proposals will start coming to fruition as the first year of the presidential term wanes. But it is hard to tell which ones.